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Name this plant!

I am still in North Carolina, visiting my brother before he celebrates the first anniversary of his 29th birthday. We were in the backyard of his new house, trying to identify which trees are worth keeping and which ones are worth putting out of their misery. Can anyone identify this tree for us?

Name this tree

Are these dead flower blossoms that will be brilliant bursts of beauty next summer, or are they just signs that this tree is dying?


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Marla • September 29, 2008 at 8:58 am

I’m not sure, but I think that *might* be a variety of magnolia. If so, it’s very sick indeed! You might check with the JC Ralston arboretum, I think if you dig through the NC state extension website you might be able to find enough pictures to help you identify it.



Erin • September 29, 2008 at 9:24 am

I have no idea about the tree, but I just celebrated my sister’s first anniversary of her 29th birthday on Saturday!


squeedlefish • September 29, 2008 at 9:28 am

You might try clipping a branch and taking it to a local nursery. From the looks of the tree, it certainly won’t hurt anything :)


EG • September 29, 2008 at 9:55 am

I celebrated my 30th on Friday! My husband will likely know what the tree is – if I remember I’ll ask him. Or your brother can send the photo to a horticulture department of UNC or any local college.


Flora • September 29, 2008 at 10:10 am

It’s not sick! It’s a hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrya_virginiana). The brown papery things are just dried-out seed coverings (involucres, to be specific). I don’t know what role it plays in his landscape and what else he might want to put there, but he definitely shouldn’t get rid of it if his reason is that it’s sick.


chidame • September 29, 2008 at 11:47 am

Flora is dead on! Just wanted to add that it is a good tree for drought areas. It’s common name is Ironwood.


Sarah • September 29, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Here is a picture of it in spring. I think it’s rather pretty.


PastaQueen • September 30, 2008 at 12:54 am

Thanks everybody! I knew the blog would know the answer.


MizFit • September 30, 2008 at 9:16 am

late to the party and youve gotten yer answer.

8 years in chapel hill here.

miss it….


anji • September 30, 2008 at 10:58 am

Hey, with the bee crisis, your brother would probably be helping out, doing his part by keeping the tree where little happy bees can come and take pollen! :D

The planet would thank him :)


Pamelalala • September 30, 2008 at 1:45 pm

It’s amazing what the people who read this blog know! lol If it’s as pretty in the spring as the photo of it in bloom then I vote for keeping it.


justme • September 30, 2008 at 9:41 pm

We call them “Monkey Puzzler Trees” due to the thorns on the trunk.


Lilbet • October 1, 2008 at 1:25 pm

They are really pretty in the Spring!

I would keep it!


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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